Exmouth National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) building demolition, April 2024. Credit: NCI
Exmouth National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) building demolition, April 2024. Credit: NCI

The works to replace the damaged seawall and building on Exmouth seafront are progressing well. This is despite the severe damage, caused a few weeks ago by storms, to the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) building, slipway and further sections of the seawall.

Building control considered the NCI building dangerous and found it had become severely undermined and unrepairable, following the storm damage, so it was decided to demolish the building.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has been working with NCI Exmouth throughout, and we thank them for their assistance, and we sympathise with them over the loss of this building.

Exmouth National Coastwatch Institution (NCI) building demolition, April 2024. Credit NCI

EDDC teams have been working hard on the project, pulling in officers from across the council for extra support.

The Harbour View slipway is unfortunately currently out of commission now, but EDDC is aiming to carry out temporary repairs so that it can be used for the summer season, with permanent repairs in the Autumn under phase two of the works.

The work on phase one of the current operations to the seawall along the eastern section of the wall, near Sideshore, involves a steel sheet pile wall being installed through the ground in line with The Esplanade.

Steel piles being installed as part of Exmouth seawall repairs near Sideshore, April 2024.

The steel wall will remain unclad during the summer season period whilst the phase two section is planned with a public consultation later in the year, on the finished appearance.

The recent further structural failures have unfortunately required EDDC officers to reconsider the work schedules for the different phases, with discussions with the Environment Agency, and Devon County Council as the highways authority who have been most supportive.

At the moment, the plan is to extend the phase one steel piling further westward along the seawall to include the sections further damaged in recent storms.

A further update will be provided once the original phase of noisy piling works is completed, which will likely be completed at end of next week. Additional advice will then hopefully be available on the timings for the extra piling works, needed because of the latest storm damage.

EDDC still plans to be off site by early June and then return in the Autumn to avoid the summer season.